As Rio Tinto continues to increase its operational excellence and project development focus as well as boost its ESG efforts – especially in Australia – the miner has put into place a new organisational structure: 13 executives with roles effective by 1 March.

The new leadership team includes Jakob Stausholm, chief executive; Bold Baatar, chief executive Rio Tinto Copper; Alf Barrios, chief commercial officer; Peter Cunningham, interim chief financial officer; Mark Davies, group executive, safety, technical and projects; Sinead Kaufman, chief executive Rio Tinto Minerals; Barbara Levi, chief legal officer and external affairs; James Martin, chief people officer (joins 6 April); Kellie Parker, chief executive Australia; Arnaud Soirat, chief operating officer; Peter Toth, group executive, strategy and development; Simon Trott, chief executive Rio Tinto Iron Ore; and Ivan Vella, chief executive Rio Tinto Aluminium.

Rio Tinto said the CEO for the iron ore business is a permanent appointment, and the COO role has been created alongside the addition of the chief executive Australia position.

Trott was most recently chief commercial officer, while Soirat was chief executive of copper and diamonds. As COO, Soirat will use his extensive operational experience to drive company-wide improvements in the Rio Tinto production system during a fixed 18-month term.

Parker moves to the chief executive Australia role after being the miner’s managing director for Pacific Operations Aluminium. In her new role, Parker will focus on rebuilding trust and strengthening external relationships across Australia.

Rio Tinto will retain four product groups: aluminium, copper, iron ore and minerals, which will now also include its diamonds business.

Vella was most recently interim iron ore chief executive before the aluminium chief executive appointment, and Baatar will leave the energy and minerals chief executive seat for the role of chief executive Rio Tinto Copper next month.

Kaufman is currently managing director of operations, copper and diamonds, and will join the Executive Committee as chief executive of the minerals business.

“While Rio Tinto continues to deliver strong safety and operational performance, despite the ongoing challenges of COVID-19, there are improvements we can achieve across the business to make Rio Tinto more resilient, and an even stronger performer and employer,” said Stausholm.

“Now the work starts for [Executive Committee], with a full agenda ahead of us and a determination to become a strong team. I am confident that together we can unleash Rio Tinto’s full potential.”